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India bans China’s PUBG mobile game and 117 other Chinese apps

A player playing PUBG Mobile. (Sparktour/Wikimedia Commons)
September 03, 2020

In what is considered a major move against China’s dominant app market, India has cracked down on another 118 Chinese-made apps in Google and Apple app stores, including the famous PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG) mobile app game — one of the world’s most popular app games.

Nearly two months after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, India on Wednesday once again decided to block 118 mobile apps including PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, WeChat Work and WeChat, according to a report by NDTV. Approximately 50 million Indian people play PUBG, though it’s unclear how many of those will be affected by the mobile app ban, as the game is playable through other platforms.

Other banned apps include games, photo-editing, dating, and payment apps.

The ban came after India identified Chinese apps that “are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in a release that the decision was a “targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”

The ministry said it had received information that Chinese apps on the Android and iOS platforms were being misused for the unauthorized transfer of user data to servers located outside India.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the MeitY added.

The decision came amid border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh where Indian armed forces are aggressively protecting India’s sovereignty against Chinese aggression in the disputed region of Aksai Chin, which borders the Line of Actual Control.